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Changes in Job Stability and Job Security: A Collective Effort to Untangle, Reconcile, and Interpret the Evidence

  • David Neumark

I synthesize and summarize a set of recent papers on changes in the employment relationship. The authors of these papers present the most up-to-date and accurate assessment of their evidence on changes in job stability and job security, and attempt to reconcile their evidence with the findings of other research, including the other papers discussed herein. Some of papers also begin to explore explanations of changes in the employment relationship. The evidence suggests that the 1990's witnessed some changes in the employment relationship consistent with weakened bonds between workers and firms. But the magnitudes of these changes indicate that while these bonds may have weakened, they have not been broken. Furthermore, the changes that occurred in the 1990's have not persisted very long. It is therefore premature to infer long-term trends towards declines in long-term employment relationships, and even more so to infer anything like the disappearance of long-term, secure jobs. The papers examining sources of changes in job stability and job security in the 1990's point to some potential explanations, including relative wage movements, growth in alternative employment relationships, and downsizing. However, with the possible exception of the first of these, this list does not encompass fundamental' or exogenous changes impacting the employment relationship, but rather to some extent suggests how various changes in the employment relationship may reinforce each other. Understanding the structural changes underlying empirical observations on changes in job stability and job security is likely to be a fruitful frontier for future research on the employment relationship.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7472.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Neumark, David (ed.) On the Job: Is Long-Term Employment a Thing of the Past? New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7472
Note: PR
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  1. Unknown, 1998. "Discussion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 619-643, October.
  2. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, October.
  3. David Neumark & Peter Cappelli, 1999. "Do "High Performance" Work Practices Improve Establishment-Level Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 7374, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dove E. Marcofte, 1995. "Declining job stability: What we know and what it means," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 590-598.
  5. Francis X. Diebold & David Neumark & Daniel Polsky, 1994. "Job Stability in the United States," NBER Working Papers 4859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Anne E. Polivka & Stephen M. Miller, 1998. "The CPS after the Redesign: Refocusing the Economic Lens," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 249-289 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Unknown, 1998. "Discussion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 645-650, October.
  8. Daniel Polsky, 1999. "Changing consequences of job separation in the United States," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 565-580, July.
  9. Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "Has job security in the U.S. declined?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb16.
  10. Alec R. Levenson, 1996. "Recent Trends In Part-Time Employment," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 78-89, October.
  11. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "Temporary services employment durations: evidence from state UI data," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Juhn, Chinhui, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121, February.
  13. Unknown, 1998. "Discussion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 651-652, October.
  14. Bansak, Cynthia A & Raphael, Steven, 1998. "Have Employment Relationships in the United States Become Less Stable?," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt7d04m8jx, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  15. José Angulo & N. Cressie & C. Wikle & P. Soidán & M. Bande & C. Glasbey & John Kent & Ana Militino & Michael Stein, 1998. "Discussion," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 283-285, December.
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